If you don’t ask, there’s no answer.

If you ask, at least there’s a chance for a yes.

It’s painful, it’s not fun, it’s not what I want to be doing on my Friday afternoon. But I did it, it was worth it, and now there’s joy in the house. No exaggeration: joy. Bonus: I made someone else happy–even happier than I am. But it’s hard, it’s work, it’s no fun.

But you have to ask. You have to actually open your mouth and say the words so the other party hears and decides. Then you wait patiently and say nothing.

If you don't ask, nothing will happen.

If you don’t ask, nothing will happen.

Who wants to call the phone company? Sorry phone company, but pretty much no one wants to. My parents were getting 0.75 Mb/s download speeds. Do you remember dial-up? If you’re not old enough to even know what that is, it’s back before high-speed Internet. It was something like 0.52 Mb/s, well, at least that was the max, it was, of course, less.

If you ask, at least there's a chance of a yes. a

If you ask, at least there’s a chance of a yes.

My parents were paying for 6 Mb/s download (and for a pretty penny, something like $46/month). But they weren’t getting that–not even close. They don’t really care, I’m not even sure they really noticed. But I’m here and I notice. We shopped around for other providers, compared apples and apples, finally called a possible new provider and then chatted and phoned current provider. We asked, they heard, the responded.

The point isn’t so much high-speed Internet. The point is that we’re not getting what we paid for. But the phone company is not going to ask you. You have to ask.

  • You can’t win if you don’t play. (past California lottery slogan … that I secretly live by)
  • They would donate to the school auction … if you had just asked.
  • They might rent your house for Thanksgiving … but they won’t know about it being available unless you ask.
  • Blogs weren’t asking me to guest post … but once I asked, just asked, they accepted.
  • Your boss might give you a raise … but it might help if you asked.

[box]What might you “gain” or learn if you ask? What’s the worst that could happen? They say no.[/box]

Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t about being pushy, annoying or a jerk. This is about connecting, communication, and awareness. This is about knowing when to ask and what to ask, but you just have to do it. No one said it was going to be fun. But it was fun and easy everyone would do it. They think it’s impossible. You’re going to make it repossible.

  • Possible:¬†wait for them to ask.
  • Impossible: wait for them to ask you to ask.
  • Repossible: just ask.

1/2 hour shopping around with other local cable companies (surprisingly few options!). 15 minutes on phone with cable company to see if they truly didn’t service our area (turns out they did). 15 minutes on chat with current provider. Got (supposed) 6 Mb/s download increased to 12 Mb/s. Yay! They asked if I had any more questions. I said something like, “You probably don’t want to hear this, but we’re probably going to switch to cable anyway because it’s cheaper and even faster.” He suggested we call some sort of Long Term Customer support number. Whatever. But we did. 15 more minutes with them and we got bumped up to 18 Mb/s and he knocked our monthly bill from $188 to $140.

$44/mo. savings (or $528/annually) for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes on the phone and chat and an increase of 3 times the bandwidth. What did it take? We just asked.